dave phillips - a collection of hair

2CD, 2012, HCB, Tel Aviv.   Available



includes secret bee video by Gina Kamentsky


Probably I said this before, but based on seeing a concert by Dave Phillips I once saw, I think he’s one of the more interesting people when it comes to creating noise music, even when I am not blown away by the political nature of his work - veganism, animal rights and that sort of thing. But his noise is great! It is a form of in which sounds are loud, but short, in which he uses acoustic objects, such as balloons, and field recordings being amplified loudly and, oh, carefully used silence. Noise that is composed! Phillips is very active when it comes to playing live and recording and much of his works end up on the most obscure compilations, online releases and some never are released. Phillips always, or so it seems, mails out a piece, no matter how short. Difficult for the fans to keep up with it, but thanks god, there are CDs like this, the follow up to a previous release ‘A Collection Of Curses’. Collecting pieces from 1995 to 2011, many released on compilations but also various unreleased ‘never heard back of them’. Luckily Phillips is the man to keep a copy of these pieces and here we have 150 minutes of his music, which can as easily serve as introduction to his work. A fine combination of musique concrete montage techniques - stereo changing, cut up, reversing, silencing etc - with a curious form of sound poetry when it comes to doing a cover of a Rudimentary Peni song, even total silence when it called for, and true all out noise. If you still never heard his work, this is best introduction there is.

(Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, Issue 870)

Most extreme metal fans are going to know Swiss artist Dave Phillips for his role as the bassist and vocalist for 80‘s grindcore / noisecore pioneers Fear Of God, who were just as significant as Napalm Death in the development of grind. But since the late 80’s, Phillips has pursued even more extreme and challenging sounds, working with the experimental Aktionist-inspired noise ensemble Schimpfluch-Gruppe and producing a wealth of fascinating, often terrifying solo works. His violent, Dada-damaged soundscapes utilize chamber-music strings, field recordings (often taken from bizarre, unsettling sources), blasts of extreme noise, extreme sound-collage techniques and even some faint traces of Phillips’s grind/metal background to craft an incredibly intense listening experience that often sounds like a particularly bizarre horror movie soundtrack.

A huge selection of Phillips’s work has been compiled for this double disc collection A Collection Of Hair, much of which comes from long-aborted solo projects from tiny go-nowhere labels that left the recordings in limbo. This collections has moments of aural extremism that’ll test the most ardent “noise” fan, but if you can hang with Phillips’s surreal sonic horror this has a TON of stuff to sink into. Most of it is pretty nihilistic, with track titles like “Most Adults Are Atrophied Children Whose Fire Has Long Since Been Extinguished” and “The Possibility Of Life’s Destruction”. And some of this stuff is terrifying; the track “Devil Disease / For The Tasmanian Devils 1” combines recordings of the snarling titular beasts and strains of rumbling ominous cello, with the occasional crash of broken glass or percussive thud. Snarls of high-pitched tape noise become tangled beneath demonic growling on “Scutigera”. And there’s a “re-working” of the intro to the Discharge song “The Possibility Of Life’s Destruction”, where Phillips extracts snippets of that original intro and turns the screams and howls of pain and anguish into a horrific soundscape littered with swells of dark dissonant piano and creepy metallic melodies. The savage electronics of “Wright Rong” that transform into a vicious fusion of death industrial crush and grindcore vocals, and there’s a bizarre “cover” of Rudimentary Peni’s “Drinking Song From The Tomb” done a capella.

Some other tracks are a mere thirty seconds long, brief blasts of horrific sound-collage, violent sexual release exploding into skull-destroying harsh noise, sounds of a busy motorway overlaid with creepy electronic mewling sounds, bestial grunts colliding with chunks of concrete sound. Phillips’s trademark bursts of sudden, thunderous slamming noises occur all through these tracks, eliciting intense shocks of sound that suddenly rupture the malevolent ambience he so carefully constructs. There are nauseating Randy Yau-style vomit-exorcisms and vocal/noise experiments, power electronics pieces with strangely mixed recordings cruising on waves of crushing black synthesizer, and stretches of near-silent minimalism and quiet, detailed environmental recordings shattered by the screams of children. “Threnody For The Victims Of Gluttony” is probably the most disturbing piece, a symphony of slaughterhouse screams and droning chamber strings that is the stuff of nightmares.

Disc two is filled with more surreal sonic horror, offering up frightening percussive blasts, monstrous murky noisescapes and bits of blackened ambience, discordant evil piano drifting over backwards voices and breathing sounds, and disgusting symphonies of gastro-intestinal violence. “Abolishing religion: an exorcism (acts 2 and 3)” is a standout track, a recording of a slithering, slinking black magic ritual that took place in Berlin that ends up turning into a violent junk-noise assault infested with demonic screams and sounds of torture. Elsewhere, ghostly chiming melodies that seem to be drifting off of some mysterious numbers channel fade into view, Phillips disappears into long sprawling passages of psychedelic electronic squelch, and we even get some of his chopped-up grindcore abstractions.

Difficult and often extremely unnerving, A Collection Of Hair delivers two and a half hours of Phillips’s brand of extreme mangled musique concrète. The first disc also features a couple of videos from Phillips and experimental animation artist Gina Kamentsky.

(Crucial Blast)

Двухдисковая компиляция швейцарского хардкорщика, панка и шумового экстремиста Дейва Филлипса, в которую вошли короткие треки, до этого изданные на различных сборниках (тематика которых охватывает как вопросы экологии и веганства/вегетарианства, так и более подходящие под эту музыку проблемы звуковой и социальной среды), неизданные вовсе и зафиксированные в разных уголках Земли (от Токио до Питера) во время живых перфомансов Дейва и группы «Schimpfluch-Gruppe». Несмотря на то, что эти вещи были записаны в разное время, внушительную часть из них объединяют общие приемы звукоизвлечения и воздействия на сознание слушателя – процентов пятьдесят из вошедших в «A Collection Of Hair» композиций содержат лязгающий грохот, хлесткие удары по крышке рояля с последующей болезненной отдачей в виде угрюмого гула потревоженных струн, яростный рык и угрожающие вопли, пропущенные через фильтры, порезанные на петли и доведенные до крайне животного состояния. Этой вакханалии сопутствуют женские и мужские стоны, как-то быстро переходящие от выражения страсти до тотального ужаса – людям впечатлительным слушать это стоит с осторожностью, как и треки, построенные на физиологических проявлениях, вроде захлебывающегося кашля, перистальтики и гортанных шумов, заканчивающихся отрыгиванием и рвотой. Моя фантазия склоняется в пользу темного подвала, в котором происходят садо-мазо оргии с последующим каннибализмом и прочим беспределом, причем в открытые окна подвала периодически залетают звуки «обычной» жизни, вроде чирикания птичек и сирен проезжающих мимо скорых, а вот люк, спрятанный под настилом, ведет прямиком в ад, где участники этого перфоманса находят для себя вечные муки, расплачиваясь за ненасытность, порочность и прочие грехи. Довольно тяжело все это слушать, но Филлипс хорошо умеет «вдарить» по мозгам и поставить их на место. Во всем остальном материале царит некое разнообразие: здесь и кошки, дерущиеся с тасманийскими дьяволами, и электроакустические преобразования, и эксперименты с академизмом, и сценический беспредел, и хоррор-посвящение жертвам цунами в Японии, составленное из их же голосов, и полевые записи. В этом сегменте Дейв порой превращается в обычного туриста, фиксирующего на магнитофон атмосферу экзотических стран с их ветром, дождем, шумом волн и голосами прохожих. Но в итоге он все равно возвращается в тот подвал, наполненный агонизирующей страстью, животной яростью и истеричным шумом. Может быть, таким он видит наше общество, а может быть, таким видят нас тараканы, живущие в его голове? Мощный и злой сборник бескомпромиссного артиста, находящего идеи и вдохновение в каждом моменте жизни. Какой бы она не была.


I’ve never really heard much by this guy but I know he walks along the harsher path of what we sell. This 2CD set is a sequel to ‘A Collection of Curses’ and gathers hard to find tracks, compilation contributions, re-workings, live recordings as well as unreleased pieces by the man Phillips. The opening few tracks appear to have lots of samples of animals all sounding in varying degrees of distress. I’m having to skip those! The tracks seem reasonably short throughout and as soon I get into one it finishes. It’s sonically very interesting with power electronics, backwards vocals, tape manipulation, bizarre samples and many many clattery and bang. It’s really unlike anything I normally listen to and for that reason alone I’m enjoying it. It’s undeniably dark and has a total vibe of ritualistic evil running through it with the super low vocals, screaming or backwards vocals. My breath is being taken away by the sheer power and immensity of the music. It’s not for everyone but if you’re into dark ritualistic experimentation then this is the tits. Right I’m off to join a cult now and stab someone in the face maybe.

(Norman Records)

Also on “Hearts & Crossbones”…“A Collection of Hair” (dcd) is the second volume of retrospective/now unavailable sonic ephemera from DAVE PHILLIPS, ex of the legendary Fear of God and Schimpfluch Group activist. This follow up to “A Call of Curses” (Blossoming Noise Records), is an overstuffed suitcase, two and a half hours thick compilation of bizarro sound manipulations and brain shriek from an acoustic master adept. If you have dipped a toe or two into D.P.’s back catalogue (the “?” c.d. (on H & C), being a particularly good example…), that will NOT in any way, shape or form, prepare you for this… the album mentioned had some notable dynamics and breathing space(s), but “Hair” will just roll right over you (with spikes on). There’s strictly no let up really. For sheer unrelenting ugliness, particular attention is inevitably drawn to the retchings and bilious outpourings of “Wight Rong” and “Erratum” which captures the sound of the body’s gag reflex going into overdrive. “I Question my Reality” meanwhile, is a horrific x-film for the ears and finds the screams of the tortured amid a slew of evil, taunting subhuman gibberings…shiver. And let’s not forget that rare beast (and I’m not referring to “Devil Disease” - a homage to the Tasmanian Devil…) a Rudimentary Peni cover (!) in “Drinking Song from the Tomb”. Makes perfect sense as one of D.P.’s more recent projects rejoices in the name of Dead Peni…Truly this IS the living end…woe unto ye… etc etc.


Являясь сборником работ периода 1995-2011, двойной CD Филлипса “A Collection of Hair” стал продолжением серии, начатой с диска “A Collection of Curses” (2006). Он состоит из редких треков, в том числе предназначавшихся для других сборников, различные переработки, концертные записи и неиздававшийся материал. Очень разные по звучанию, грани творчества Дэйва Филлипса поражают и объединяют людей, вкусы которых в целом чаще всего совершенно не совпадают: мятежный панк, акционизм, перформанс арт и радикальные хеппенинги как наследство сотрудничества с Schimpfluch-Gruppe, шизоидный поп-терроризм супергруппы OHNE, сольный проект Dead Peni, хардкор Fear Of God и т.д. В общей сложности 32 трека и более 150 минут музыки - нелёгкое испытание, но оно того стоит, особенно если учесть что в альбом включены видеоклип Джины Каменски на трибьют Филлипсу “A Drink on Spike Jones”, запись уникального концерта в Тель-Авиве, курируемая лэйблом 23five радиопьеса, монтаж из записей Sxhimpfluch-Commune в Берлине - словом, психоактивный звуковой снаряд, заполненный микрокомпозиционной шрапнелью, готов взорваться в вашем мозгу и наглядно продемонстрировать, что такое психоакустическая шоковая тактика в действии, после чего последует почти научная адаптация приёмов musique concrete к вашему конвульсирующему телу. Человек в чёрном выходит из темноты…

(Dmitry Vasilyev, https://vk.com/event170151466, August 2018)